Conservators at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) opened a time capsule from the Lee Monument pedestal on Wednesday afternoon, but the capsule and its contents don’t match the description of a capsule reportedly placed in the monument in 1887, leading to speculation that there may be an additional capsule somewhere on site. Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam were at the Department of Historic Resources at 12 p.m. for the opening of the box. Opening the box without damaging it took longer than expected, due to corrosion and masonry from the pedestal in the box seams.
“I’ve been asked a number of times if we’re going to use a torch,” Conservator Chelsea Blake said. “That’s not an option.”
Crews dismantling the Lee Monument pedestal in Richmond found what they believe to be an 1887 time capsule believed to contain Confederate memorabilia and a possible photograph of Abraham Lincoln, the Governor’s office announced Friday.
“Workers noticed something that looked ‘different’ this morning, so they chiseled down with a hammer and found the top of what appears to be the time capsule–located inside a large block, under one inch of cement. It was located approximately 20 feet in the air, in the tower, not in the pedestal’s base. It was located approximately 8 feet from the outside of the granite and about one foot from the edge of the core. It appears to be largely undamaged,” the announcement states.
The Virginia Department of Historical Resources (DHR) has approved 15 new historical highway markers, many of them focusing on African-American and women’s history in Virginia.
Five of the fifteen markers were proposed by students during a historical marker contest. One marker in Hampton commemorates Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, a mathematician who worked for NASA and was featured in Hidden Figures. Johnson died at 101 earlier this year. Another marker, in Lynchburg, honors Elizabeth Langhorne Lewis; who was “one of the most influential women’s suffrage activists in Virginia,” according to the proposed sign text.